THE world is currently going through a period of warming 1.1C above pre-industrial levels. That is what has caused the fires, the flooding, the droughts and more severe hurricanes and typhoons.

The difference between 2C of warming versus 1.5C of pre-industrial levels is:

  • The doubling of the loss of plant species, which are essential for human survival in terms of food security
  • The tripling of the loss of insect species
  • The Artic ice being 10 times more likely to melt

Currently the world is heading for 2.4C of warming. This will leave parts of the world uninhabitable.

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The COP26 agreement has left the system that has allowed this to happen to remain in place. The business-as-usual approach is literally a crime against humanity.

It speeds up the mass extinction of the human race. All to ensure that quarterly profits for corporations can keep expanding.

The failure of COP26 is the failure of the capitalist system. Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of all global CO2 emissions.

The damage that capitalism has done will be more than the aggregate value of all the goods made since the start of the industrial revolution.

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Past prosperity will be paid for by curtailment of life on Earth in the near future.

The reason why action has not been taken is because fossil fuel companies and the banks who lend to them have funded networks of climate-change denial for decades.

Corrupt, media-friendly “spokesmen” are then sent out to lie with polluter propaganda. This creates doubt about the link between fossil fuels and climate change. It then stops any reduction in fossil fuel consumption.

An alliance of 77 island nations including China had argued for a loss-and-damage finance facility. This was to compensate for the damage suffered through pollution by rich nations. However the EU, UK and US have sabotaged this.

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Contrast this with the trillions of pounds these government’s ploughed in to save the world financial system. The £100 billion pledged in 2009 to mitigate the effects of climate change has not been paid.

The Paris Agreement target of 1.5C is dead. The is a consequence of the capitalist system which needs to be overthrown.

Alan Hinnrichs

JIM Fairlie suggesting “Turning to Scottish meat could aid in bid to slow effects of climate change” (Nov 14) brings to mind two key points of the world order that appear to me to have been airbrushed from climate change considerations at COP26.

The first is what Fairlie alludes to: the fundamental premise that transporting trade goods halfway across the world rather than sourcing necessities in our backyard when they easily can be – incurring huge expenditure of carbon-emitting fossil fuel – mitigates against any pretence that we have climate change at the core of our priorities.

At a time when this is surely apparent to all, Boris-led Brexit Britain has deliberately worked to arrange the very opposite of common sense, encouraging trade with the Far East and the Antipodes rather than giving preference to trade with our European neighbours. How can anyone claiming to be serious about climate change control possibly contend this is sensible?

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Second must surely be the inexorable rise in human population. Irrespective of all the other measures adopted at COP26, most of which seem likely to prove a cop out, the increase in human population, fuelling economic growth, will bring unbearable pressure on the Earth’s ecology contrary to the alleged ambitions of COP26.

Carbon-emitting fuels being used since Britain’s industrial revolution are often claimed to be partly responsible for contemporary and future concerns about climate change. The major fossil fuel users like China, India, USA etc cite their need to fuel their own industrial output as their right to do so, with scant regard for those who bear the climate burden of their selfish folly.

In reality, isn’t much of the need to retain fossil fuel because of the rise in a global population that’s grown exponentially? 1.25 billion in 1850, to a conservative estimate of 7.75 billion and more by 2050. How can we possibly expect our planet to deal with this without changing the climate?

Isn’t it the free market of capitalism feeding off economic growth that should really concern us? Won’t it be our inability to constrain unfettered growth for investor profit that will be the nail in our climate-change coffin?

And what could be a more potent example of this than allowing, under any circumstances, even one square foot of vital carbon-processing rainforest to be cut down for any economic activity? Or allowing India, a country with myriad poor that can somehow afford a space programme, to water down the imperative of ending coal use rather than ending it and instead investing in climate-protecting renewables?

Hasn’t Brexit not only proven to be an economic folly, but in climate change terms just a senseless contribution to disaster?

Don’t we need to drastically reduce the uneconomic climate cost incurred between production and consumption as Fairlie suggests, while reducing the drive for growth where those who are enriched are only so at the expense of the planet we all hope can provide a sustainable future for us and those generations to follow?

Jim Taylor